Old school vs. new school

Graphic by Cate Roser ’21/Staff

On March 12, we were told that we were not going to be able to go back to school for two weeks, this then became four weeks, which then became the rest of the school year. Online school became necessary and there was a sense of urgency to figure out the plan.

In the spring, almost everyone was over school, and learning was in the back of our minds. Going online to a Zoom class was not necessary and work was graded on completion. There were more important things to worry about so school was not made a necessity for many students at LM. As the school year came to an end, there was a question about whether we were going to be in-person for the fall, and sure enough, we were. Going into this school year, I have seen many differences in the way LM has handled online learning. A main example: attendance. Every single class I have been to has taken attendance, in contrast to the spring when I could choose if I wanted to go to a Zoom class. Teachers seem to be more prepared and have concrete lessons, while in the spring we were solely given worksheets to do, and were graded upon completion. This school year was definitely more planned out than in the spring.

Although online learning is new, and sometimes nerve-racking for many people, the organization LM created is necessary for an enjoyable learning experience. Now, with the addition of the hybrid model, many students are concerned about going back to in-person. What will it look like? How will I see my friends? Is lunch the same? Obviously school will not be normal, and it is definitely going to be different than sitting in your room on a computer. Face-to-face interaction is necessary, or should I say, mask-to-mask interaction.

A problem with going back in-person, in my opinion, is being able to connect with your classmates and teachers. Obviously, we will have to stay six feet away from each other, and we won’t be able to do work in small groups. Teachers have yet another challenge to face, even though going back in person seems easier than teaching on Zoom. What if someone’s mask breaks? Or what if you just have a cold? These are all questions I am asking myself, and I’m sure everyone around me is as well. Small details like going to the bathroom, or getting a drink of water are going to be thought out. Making sure everyone is safe is LM’s top priority, but what happens if someone gets COVID-19? Will the whole school shut down?

The safety of students during this time will definitely be the most prominent concern as we return to what we considered “normal,” but some questions are left unanswered. As we all walk through the doors of LM during a global pandemic, the differences between what we used to call “normal,” and now our “new normal” are going to be big.

The Merionite Newsletter

Sign up to receive the latest news in your inbox, every issue.